Thank you for taking the time to write to me.
This is a complex matter, not least as Huwaei are already involved in aspects of existing networks and I understand there are limited alternatives globally for comprehensive 5G coverage. The UK security services advised that Huwaei involvement could be contained and Ministers committed to reduce high risk vendors' market share here.
Widespread deployment of 5G and full fibre networks is a primary objective of Government policy, however I am clear that this must not be achieved in a way that compromises our national security. Government Ministers were clear that the decision on Huawei and other high risk vendors was taken on the basis of national security.
Our digital networks need to be both secure and resilient. The Government undertook a comprehensive review of the supply arrangements in our 5G and full fibre networks. The Review concluded that it will be necessary to put in place additional controls on high risk vendors, such as Huawei, that pose a higher risk to our 5G and full fibre networks. For both of these networks, high risk vendors should be excluded from those parts of the network that are critical to security. The presence of high risk vendors should also be limited in other parts of those networks, such as sensitive geographic locations.
The Government explained the decision was to allow us to deliver world leading digital infrastructure for the UK, meaning our economy will be best placed to take advantage of the many opportunities of the digital economy. Further, I understand that over time it is the intention for the market share of high risk vendors to be reduced, as market diversification takes place.
While Parliament is understandably focused on dealing with Coronavirus, I understand that there will be more opportunities to debate this issue. Conservative MPs have recently set up the China Research Group to explore a range of matters relating to Chinese companies too so there will be an ongoing focus on Huawei. I will aim to include any relevant updates on my website.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me about this important issue.